Monday, 31 October 2016

Scary food waste: how to save your pumpkins this Halloween #PumpkinRescue

Halloween can be an exciting and festive occasion but some things are definitely scarier than others, as research by the charity Hubbub reveals there are 15 million pumpkins likely to be wasted this week.

 While many of us may be eating leftover sweets and chocolate tomorrow that the trick-or-treaters didn’t get their hands on, spare a thought for all of these vitamin A-rich beautiful pumpkins that are getting carved and not eaten.

This is why Hubbub and Unilever have launched the #PumpkinRescue campaign, in order to raise awareness of this huge food waste issue and spread the word as well as plenty of tasty recipes.

Whilst there is every reason to make a ‘Donald Trumpkin’ this Halloween and spook your friends and neighbours, the gorgeous fleshy insides of the pumpkin should not be overlooked.

Hubbub carried out a survey of 2,000 adults across the UK, discovering that 2 out of 5 will be carving a pumpkin this Halloween and that most of these will carve at least two.

Here comes the horrifying, hide-behind-the-sofa part – 8 in 10 of those surveyed said they want to reduce food waste but over half confirmed they didn’t think of Halloween pumpkins as food.

Image credit: Hubbub UK
In fact, half of those in the survey admitted they hadn’t eaten pumpkin before, despite there being so many opportunities to give it a try at this time of year.

As for the remains of these carved pumpkins, not all of these are being put in food waste containers (only 45%) or composted (28%), meaning an incredible 5 million gorgeous gourds are still being sent to landfill or incinerators.

The founder and CEO of Hubbub, Trewin Restorick, said that as Halloween gets more popular year on year in the UK, it is “really important that this doesn’t create an ever larger mountain of food waste.  We must recognise that pumpkins are a valuable source of food and not just for decoration, if we are to tackle the 7m tonnes of food and drink wasted from British homes each year. Halloween is a great opportunity to help our children understand where food comes from and involve them in cooking a simple meal with their pumpkin carvings.”

Many cooking and composting festivals and events are taking place around the UK to celebrate the pumpkin, and you can find many exciting recipes to help to reduce this scary statistic. Enjoy!

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